French telecommunication giant Orange has purchased a 49 percent stake in the Web video site Dailymotion for 58.8 million euros—roughly $80 million.
Dailymotion, something of a YouTube pretender, reaches around 7.5 million unique monthly users in the U.S., according to Compete. However, the site has a much larger audience in Europe—and the company claims a total of 93 million uniques across the globe.
As part of the deal, starting in 2013, Orange has an option to purchase 100 percent of the company or seek new business partners. Orange executives see Dailymotion as a way to expand the company’s purview to multiple screens. “We are strengthening our position in the fields of aggregation and distribution,” said CEO Stéphane Richard. “We will provide our customers with an enriched and innovative video offer combining Dailymotion’s know-how and diversity of content with the quality of our networks across all connected screens.”
For Dailymotion, the investment should provide the site with a much larger profile. Currently, the site’s content features a mix of professional licensed fare from companies like Fox Sports and Warner Bros., user-generated clips and niche Web series.